Usually steer clear of the ranking debate, but you collectively have asked some very pertinent questions to the ACHA and M3 with respect to rankings and the post season.
I'll make every attempt to just keep to the facts. Opinions and feedback, of course, are always welcomed.
1) M1, M2, W1, and W2 are all using variants of computer rankings.
2) M1 has an algorithm that weighs W-L% stronger than SoS.
3) M2 has an algorithm that gives SoS the most weight (growing stronger as the season progresses).
4) M2 Final Rating = SoS + AGD + W-L%. AGD and W-L% have much less weight than SoS
5) M3 Computer Rankings are being tracked this year for evaluation using M2 algorithm. We look at the M2/M3 rankings each week - the preliminary result is that the AGD addition might hold too much weight. Will keep evaluating.
6) M3 will have computer rankings on the agenda in Naples for vote. Obviously, with all other divisions using computer rankings, M3 is last to embrace the technology.
7) M3 Atlantic Computer Rankings are currently:
1 Bryn Athn
4 S CT
6 Cal UPenn
8 PSU-Altoona (weakest SoS in top 10, but highest AGD)
8) M1 Rankings have been in effect for several years with fairly consistant results:
A) Extemely low (<15% upset ratio in National Tournament)
B) #1-#3 as National Champions
C) #9 ISU lowest seed to make National Finals last year - prior to that #6.
9) M2 Computer Rankings have a few anomalies, but we constantly examine why the teams are ranked where they are - it's competely objective. As Fries stated, we need to continue to assess and tweak. Tweaks thus far:
A) Elimination of non-ACHA opponent games.
B) Elimination of counting forfeits (whether the score is entered 1-0 or 7-0, can adversely affect the computer rankings (i.e. CFU 1-0(F)'s over College of Charleston actually lower CFU rating while increasing CoC).
C) Under examination:
a) Half the AGD addition
b) Give teams that forfeit, are late with payments, or are late with eligibility forms, etc, a -1 on permanent rating/incident.
10) Very strong majority of members in M1 & M2 prefer the weekly computer rankings over the previous human ranking committees.
11) Much of the stress comes from the creation of the #1 and #2 National Autobids - the Board and Commissioners are working hard to develop a more expansive, but all inclusive Regionals (no autobids). The current system places far too much of a premium on being #2, when in fact, the difference between the top 3 teams in each region is negligible, M2 or M3.
Always open for feedback to make the ACHA a better organization for it's entire body of membership. In the end, M3 will determine which ranking system will be used in the future. Will place in survey monkey next month to M3 members.